Huawei reportedly partners with European chipmaker amid US restrictions

It's designing mobile and automotive chips with STMicroelectronics, Nikkei reports.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
Expertise Culture, Video Games, Breaking News
Sean Keane

Huawei could be strengthening its European ties.

Angela Lang/CNET

Huawei may be looking to its European partners as the US tightens its grip on suppliers. The controversial Chinese company is working with French-Italian STMicroelectronics to design mobile and automotive chips, according to Nikkei.

The move comes as US officials consider restrictions that'd force suppliers to apply for licenses if they use American equipment to build chips for Huawei. STMicro was already a major client of Huawei, as a supplier of sensor chips, but the expanded partnership hints at the Chinese phone maker's autonomous driving ambitions, the Japanese financial newspaper noted.

Read more: Best phones of 2020

The US has long alleged that Huawei, a maker of phones and networking equipment, maintains a tight relationship with the Chinese government, creating fear that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies. The Commerce Department blacklisted Huawei following a May 2019 executive order from President Donald Trump that effectively banned the company from US communications networks.

Huawei didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Watch this: Huawei P40 Pro and Plus first impressions: CNET editors react